Father's salary


Who pays for the salary of a Roman Catholic priest?


The parish. The salary, last I heard was $400 a month and state benefits.


The diocese pays our priests. They have a retirement plan and health insurance.


I’m sure this varies wildly across different locations.


The Archdiocese; retirement & health plans included.


There is no one correct answer.

From my memories of the United States, a parish priest is paid, normally, by use of parish funds, which also supplies for his housing – by a variety of means – and other forms of sustenance. The rates, however, are set by the bishop and mandated in the handbook of diocesan policies.

Priests who are entirely working in the diocesan curia, on the other hand, have their salary paid out of diocesan funds with the bishop making provision for housing and the other necessities of life.

Those of us who are academics receive a salary from the institution[s] with which we are on faculty.

Those who are full-time hospital chaplains will often, but not universally, receive a salary from the employing hospital…as would be the case with full-time school chaplains.

Priests who are military chaplains are compensated by the military service to which they belong.

Religious Order/Religious Congregation priests, as opposed to diocesan priests, receive the necessities of life from their Community by access “to the common table,” as the concept was classically termed. They, because of their vow of poverty, turn over any remunerations they receive to their community which goes into their common purse.

Then there are those of us who are from countries where entirely different mechanisms prevail that would be utterly alien to North America


Your diocese must be quite the outlier. My goodness. All the American dioceses in my round of visits – and that was many years ago – had a higher monthly stipend than that, when the cost of living was significantly lower.

That level of remuneration would be penury in 2017.


Thirty-something years ago when I was received into the church. :smiley:


Oh! Thank goodness. In my sunset years, I was ready to come out of retirement to fundraise for these brother priests who were receiving all of thirteen dollars per day.

“For your hour of hearing confessions, here is one dollar. A second hour? Then here is two dollars.”

Hopefully His Excellency has accorded some augmentation of the stipend to keep up with the change of prices in thirty years.

There is the virtue of poverty…and then there is simply living in penury.



In all honesty, I’m not even sure if what I heard was true. Thirty-something years ago, I was interviewing one of my parish priests as research for my upcoming novel Requiem for a Doula, and he questioned that if a parish priest made $400 a month as a celibate, would a parish have to pay $1400 a month for a married priest. Then he suggested that perhaps a larger parish would be more suited for a married priest so the parish could afford to have one.

So, truth be told, I’m not even sure if what he told me was accurate.

I was received into the church at age 16 in the Archdiocese of Louisville, KY, and soon afterward, to help deal with the stress of conversion under a Southern Baptist roof, this novel began to make itself known. Additionally, the subject of married priests came up during Junior class retreat, which kind of blew my mind, and the characters really began to move. Over the years, the book has come to me in fragments. Once we get our deceased son’s room redecorated, I will have an actual desk space in which to work. I had been utilizing the time on campus when I was driving his surviving brother to college. (He has since graduated).


:eek: I hope it’s more than that now. Maybe $400 a week.


In my part of the world:

$600 a month basic stipend plus $420 a month car allowance (USD equivalents)

Petrol, housing, food, power, phone etc are additional to this.


In my home diocese it was $2500 a month plus housing.

Housing conditions can, of course, vary widely for priests. A priest I know was in residence at the cathedral some years ago and was assigned a single humble room in a rectory he shared with 6-7 other priests. He now is pastor of a semi-rural parish where he enjoys a choice of two homes on the parish property - the older two level rectory attached to the old now disused church and a condo style apartment built into the new church building. With his next assignment he could revert to a single room.


I’m thinking of becoming a priest. God is showing me my way, it seems. Consider the issue of celibacy. Why is that recommended?

Well, I personally love the Church and think she’s a beautiful and pure girl. Now normally, with a girl like that, you’d want to have lots of sweet sex with her. But only if you can. In this particular case, this is obviously impossible.

Now what about a concubine? Well, I wouldn’t want to be unjust to her by having sex with her without loving her. That would be bad spiritually for me, too. But if I did fall in love with her, then I’d be unfaithful to my true love, the Church. That won’t work.

And of course, masturbation is a loser’s habit and a preposterous sin.

So, chastity for me is not some “fanatical anti-life rejection of pleasure” but is simply a result of a calculation of my own costs and benefits, a sacrifice for the sake of a greater personal good.

However, chastity is a unique condition that has nothing to do with poverty. I despise poverty and love perpetually increasing peace and prosperity. Being rich is glorious, though I doubt I could ever at this point command a large income. The vocation of priest has nothing in it inherently connected with poverty, unless a member of a specific religious order vows it. I am not interested in being in any such order.

So, if I am to do this job, I’d like a reasonable compensation, which had better be greater than $400 a month.

I hear as a matter of fact that priests are “in demand,” so I’d hope the Church will value me sufficiently not to keep me eating cheap junk food or unable to buy books.

closed #15

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